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Erik from San Francisco asked

Favorite things to do in Tokyo

Looking for the not to be missed and off the beaten path things to see. I love food, but more interested in what's local, street food vs. michelin star stuff. 

Also, keen to know of any day trips outside of Tokyo. Preferably by train, but willing to rent a car if necessary.

Tokyo (Japan)

4 Answers
answered by
Brett from Eindhoven

Within Tokyo, a few food recommendations for great food, without breaking the bank:

Ramen: Kagari

Tonkatsu: Tonki

Tempura: Lunch at Tenshige

Okonomiyaki: Sakuratei

Izakaya: Warayakiya

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Kagari (restaurant)
  2. Tonki (restaurant)
  3. Sakuratei (restaurant)
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answered by

In Tokyo-if you're into anime, especially Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli(the Totoro museum)-the entrance fee is cheap but you have to pre-book. Can be done on line or at any Lawson convenience store once you're in Japan. If doing it at Lawsons, the machine is mostly in Japanese, but the Lawsons staff are usually pretty helpful. Also, the Ghibli website has pictures showing you which buttons to push on the machines. It is very popular and you are allocated a timeslot, so if you really want to do it, my tip is to book before your trip. From Mitaka station, there is a bus which takes you to the museum.If you go, the cafe food is so-so, but make sure to buy one of their sodas in the glass bottles with the marbles.

The Robot Restaurant in Kabukicho Shinjuko is an experience-go for show only, not the meal+show deal as it's much more expensive and food  not worth extra cost. Robots, girls, loud music, light show-what's not to like!

Sensoji Temple in Asakusa-the street leading up to the shrine is a real buzz. read your fortune at the shrine-there are English ones available.

Wander round Harajuku-where all the alternate fashion is. Take in a baseball game-they are fanatics.

Get a pasmo card for train travel round the city-the machines have English. Anything unused on it when you leave cab be refunded by going to station office.

Day trips-Kamakura is not far by train and has some great temples. We enjoyed Zeniaraibenten Shrine  with its money washing ceremony, the Great Buddha, hasadera and Kenchōji Sugiyamatemples.Try some of the small restaurants near the train lines-cheap as, and some great food.

Day trip-Nikko 125K north is a great day trip. Toshugo Shrine, Edo Wonderland-a sort of theme park of by gone Japan-sounds cheesy but actually good fun and interesting. If a nature buff, some great hiking trails. Takes about 2 1/2 hrs by train by JR or Tobo Railways.

Day trip-Kyoto-takes about 2 1/2 hrs by train. A good tourist info place at station. We enjoyed Arishyama bamboo grove in western Kyoto, you can take a train there or a bus from station. Temples, an old preserved village street-lots to see. Can rent bicycles at local station which is good way to see stuff. Lots of wonderful temples in various parts of Kyoto. Go geisha spotting round Gion, still lots of traditional business which are interesting.

Before you go, get a JR pass if you intend doing a few day trips-it will be cheaper and more convenient.

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Studio Ghibli (attraction)
  2. Robot Restaurant (restaurant)
  3. Sensoji Temple (attraction)
  4. Harajuku (attraction)
  5. Kamakura (city)
  6. Zeniaraibenten Shrine (attraction)
  7. Kenchōji Sugiyama (attraction)
  8. Nikko (city)
  9. Edo Wonderland (attraction)
  10. Kyoto (city)
likes (1) thanks
answered by
Jacqui from London

Hi Erik, 

we were in Japan in March and it was incredible! We visited Tokyo, Kyotoand Hakone and our tips can probably help you:

You can do a day trips to Hakone, Mt. Fuji and the snow monkeys at Jigokudani Monkey Park from Tokyo. I talk about the JR Pass that you can use on the train network in my blog post above. There are also seven other posts which detail our time in each of the places we visited. 

We found a bunch of really cool local izakayas in Tokyo that had great food and drinks. Check out Ebisu Yokocho (an old shopping centre full of izakayas), the Golden Gai alleyways, and under the train tracks near Koenji station. 


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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tokyo (attraction)
  2. Kyoto (city)
  3. Hakone (city)
  4. Mt. Fuji (attraction)
  5. Jigokudani Monkey Park (attraction)
  6. Ebisu Yokocho (attraction)
  7. Golden Gai (restaurant)
  8. Koenji (attraction)
answered first by
Shinobu from Chiba

Fortunately or unfortunately, Tokyo is getting busy in terms of the number of tourists.

Need to take a train, but what about Kawagoe

Enjoy your journey!

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Kawagoe (city)

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